Judith Lucy's Not Getting Any Younger

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Steve Bennett

Judith Lucy isn’t the first comic to hit 40 and wonder where the hell her youth went – and she certainly won’t be the last.

She now finds herself wearing orthopaedic footwear, holidaying with her elderly mother, shouting at the fridge and seriously considering Botox… although the tartan shopping trolley is a step to far. For now.

The one thing that’s still as sharp as ever is her tongue, thanks to 20 years in the stand-up game, but now it is more likely to be directed at her own stupid foibles than at any unwitting third party.

That’s not to say she doesn’t have some fun at the expense of a range of targets including Nicole Kidman, the draconian smoking ban and ridiculous youngsters, for who she reserves particular distain. As part of her piercing attack on Generation Y, she even finds a willing twentysomething in the audience to try to explain his curious species, but leaves none the wiser. But the exchange across the age divide is hilarious.

Her scorn-filled attitude to everything involves a near-permanent scowl of disappointment, but she’s always able to sum up her predicament with spiky wit or skilful metaphor.

And however sharply she might attack others, self deprecation is the key to her success. No one comes out worse from a Judith Lucy show than Judith Lucy, thanks to an uncontrollable compunction for honesty and a willingness to expose her own stupidity, vanity or desperation. Even her act isn’t exempt, and she’ll provide a running commentary on routines and how they’re going down if she thinks it’ll make things funnier. It usually does.

In many ways, this is quite a mainstream, accessible act – who can’t identify with the effects of aging and the realisation of their own mortality? – but none the worse for it, thanks to Lucy’s acerbic attitude and keen observations on a life that’s increasing letting her down. Just because it’s uncomplicated doesn’t make it any less funny.

At 80 interval-free minutes, this feels a bit too long for a festival show (although with support would probably be ideal length for a touring theatre show), but that’s the only minor gripe in an otherwise masterful demonstration of no-frills stand-up, which she makes look effortlessly easy.

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Melbourne, April 2009

Review date: 22 Nov 2012
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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